I used to walk to school in snow, sleet, rain and high winds. I used to ride my bike 7 miles back and forth to go to swim team every summer. I cleaned houses every summer AND I rode my bike to get to every house just to make money for college. I listen to my daughter’s music and find myself thinking it sounds like the chipmunks, Data from Star Trek and Jack Nicholson in The Shining screaming “Red-Rum” all got together to jam out.
Shockingly I am a parent! A parent who says things and thinks things that my parents used to – It’s frightening! How did that happen? I’m not old enough for that to have happened!
But it did.
So I must conclude that only upon becoming a parent can you begin to understand the shocking disbelief and ire you caused your own parents as a teen.
Bearing witness to my own teenager’s random acts of cluelessness, apathy and trickery leave me with two choices – tell a story and laugh about it (after appropriate consequences are implemented AND assuming you find out about it before they are 30) and hope that other parents to whom you bemuse with your teen tales will not freak when their kid does the same stupid thing OR climb under a rock and wake up when they turn 21.
Not being the type to climb under a rock, I find myself with lots of stories to tell my girlfriends these days. And I hope that when I’m older and wiser and they tell me their tales of woe, I listen, give them a hug and then walk around the corner and high-five myself in the mirror for being done with that shit!
That said, not a day goes by when I don’t look at both of my daughters and feel a sense of awe and inspiration that nothing else in the world can cause me to feel. And when I get down that my job is so demanding and takes me away from them so much, I remind myself that it’s the time, love, support, guidance, and attention I give them when we are together that matters the most. And I remind myself that my job nurtures me, makes me stronger and also provides them with financial, economic and health security that every child should have.